High flower prices sting lovebirds

 A worker picks flowers at a farm

A worker picks flowers at a farm

High flower prices dampened Valentine’s Day for some lovers yesterday due to strong prices in the export market and low production caused by long cold period in the second half of last year.

Consequently forces of supply and demand came into play with florists fixing high price tags on a commodity that is highly prized on February 14.

Kenya Flower Council chairman Richard Fox confirmed though it is usual for Kenyan flowers to fetch high prices on Valentine’s Day in the international market, the current dry spell had led to lower production of the commodity.

“Flower firms prefer shipping out flowers to the overseas market owing to the premium prices been offered. The dry spell also affected local supply and prices,” Fox told People Daily.

Despite low supply and tough economic times, florists reported good sales as lovers celebrated their day with show of affection and intimacy. Bernard Chege a florist operating at City Market in Nairobi said flower companies have this year increased prices from between 150 per cent and 200 per cent .

“We have been buying a bouquet of 20 rose flower stems at Sh100 but the same has been increased this year to between Sh250 and Sh300 respectively. This has equally forced us to increase the same when selling to our customers,’’ said Chege.

However, despite the high prices, vendors still managed to record booming business. For example, a vendor who sought anonymity said yesterday morning he sold flowers worth Sh100, 000 and later in the day an order of Sh200,000.

Good deals Chege, who is the organising secretary of City Market Flower Association, said he was been able to dispatch orders to customers mostly in offices and other vendors outside Nairobi.

“Despite the prevailing conditions we were still able to make to good sales,” said Chege. Kenya Flower Council Chief Executive Officer Jane Ngige confirmed that this year compared to previous years, companies produced less owing to the five-month cold period occasioned last year and the ravaging drought.




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